CONSUMER READER: What frauds lurk EU consumers online in Covid-19?

Rubric: Consumer's Reader

The European Commission has registered that, with the spread of the new virus in the EU, unscrupulous traders advertise and sell to consumers products such as protective masks, protective hats and hand sanitizers that claim to prevent or treat infections. 

To not fall victims of frauds, the European citizens should watch out for offers that:

  • use language or images through which they directly claim or indirectly try to suggest that a product can prevent or treat infection by COVID 19;
  • refer to self-appointed physicians, medical professionals, experts or other unofficial sources who claim that a product may prevent or treat infection with the new virus;
  • refer through the name or logo of state bodies, experts in official office or international institutions, who allegedly supported the claims of protective or healing properties without providing hyperlinks or references to official documents;
  • create a sense of scarcity using statements such as “only today,” “sold fast” or similar;
  • inform about market conditions using statements like “the lowest price on the market”, “the only product that can treat infections from COVID 19” or similar;
  • use prices that are significantly above the usual price for similar products because their products allegedly prevent or treat infection from COVID19.


The European Commission reminds EU consumers that national governments in Europe provide official advice based on scientific facts on how to prevent COVID-19 infection. When a user encounters unfunded allegations or misleading claims on an online platform, they must signal inappropriate content to the platform operator. As a result of a written request for cooperation in taking down scams from their platforms to Allegro, Amazon, Alibaba (AliExpress), Cdiscount, eBay, Facebook (Facebook, Facebook Marketplace, Instagram), Microsoft (Microsoft Advertising, Bing, LinkedIn), Google (Google Ads, YouTube), Rakuten, Wish and Verizon Media (Yahoo, HuffPost, AOL, TechCrunch), by Google (Google Ads, YouTube), Rakuten, Wish and Verizon Media (Yahoo, HuffPost, AOL, TechCrunch), by the Commissioner for Justice and Consumers Didier Reynders, the enlisted companies are already working in cooperation with the consumer protection authorities on elaboration of rules to ban such practices.

The Commission’s advice  to traders is to act responsibly – to refrain from the abovementioned practices and to ban them, taking into account all instructions and advice of the national government on the protection measures against COVID-19.

You can see details on the EC website.

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Published on 24.04.2020 Back to news